While it may seem like Winter is this long, cold, dry, depressing season during the year, I have to say that I totally don't believe this to be true. From snow skiing to the entirely different wardrobe I get to take advantage of during this season, winter has a bunch of wonderful things to offer. However, my #1 reason for loving winter would have to be Soup Season!
I love soup and during the winter, I seem to exist off of it! Its so warm, comforting, delicious and can be very healthy. Speaking of healthy, I have come up with a wonderful and very healthy Lentil Soup recipe made in my beloved Crock Pot!! Oh how I LOVE my Crock Pot. Just set it and forget it! The best part about this recipe? In addition to being inexpensive to make, it's delicious, nutritious and also vegetarian friendly! This recipe yields many servings of soup, so I love to make it over the weekend and then my husband and I will reheat it during the week. This slow cooker lentil soup is definitely worthy of being a staple in your recipe repertoire.
- 1 Bag of Hurst's Brand Garlic & Herb Lentils (Harris Teeter and Publix carry this specific bag of lentils. You can also order them in bulk from the Hurst's Store Website)
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion Diced Coarse
- 5 Stalks of Celery cut into 1/2inch pieces
- 1.5 Cups of Carrots cut into 1/2inch pieces
- 6 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Parmesan Cheese Rind (Either Cut this off of a parmesan block that you buy or you can go to grocery stores like Whole Foods and buy a container of Just the Rinds--the rinds will keep in your fridge for months and are a staple in most of my soup recipes because of all of the flavor they add)
- 5 Cloves of Garlic Minced
- 3 Fresh Bay Leaves Cut in the Center (see image below)
- 2 Dried Bay Leaves
- 1/4Cup Fresh Chopped Parsley
- Fresh Baby Kale
- Fresh Shaved Parmesan
- Add the Vegetable Broth and Water to the Crock Pot
- Add the Lentils, Flavor Packet, Celery, Carrots, Onion, Garlic, Parmesan Cheese Rind, Fresh Bay Leaves, Dried Bay Leaves and Parsley to the Crock Pot
- Stir contents and set Crock Pot to High 6hrs (Stirring Contents Every 2hrs)
4. Once the Crock Pot transitions to Warm mode, the soup should be done and ready to serve.
5. Add the baby kale to the bowl first, then ladle the soup over the baby kale (the kale will wilt in a few minutes. This way you will have deliciously wilted kale that is bright green in color. **Adding the kale to the crockpot to cook with the lentils will cause the Kale to turn a green/gray color.**
6. Garnish with parmesan cheese shavings and serve!